SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Portsmouth Harbour

image: SPA location map 


Portsmouth Harbour is located on the central south coast of England. It is a large industrialised estuary and includes one of the four largest expanses of mud-flats and tidal creeks on the south coast of Britain. The mud-flats support large beds of Narrow-leaved Eelgrass Zostera angustifolia and Dwarf Eelgrass Z. noltii, extensive green algae beds, mainly Enteromorpha species, and Sea Lettuce Ulva lactuca. Portsmouth Harbour has only a narrow connection to the sea via the Solent, and receives comparatively little fresh water, thus giving it an unusual hydrology. The site supports important numbers of wintering Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta b. bernicla, which feed also in surrounding agricultural areas away from the SPA. 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section

This site qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
Over winter;
Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla bernicla, 2,847 individuals representing at least 0.9% of the wintering Western Siberia/Western Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)



Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.